Procedures for the Final Examination
 When a student is admitted to candidacy, the Dean of the Graduate School appoints a member of the graduate faculty to serve as the chairperson for the final oral examination. This chairperson and the supervisory committee constitute the examining committee.

1. The supervisory committee will meet with the candidate (individually or as a group) to review the scholarship as documented by progress in research. Should the committee decide that appropriate scholarship has been documented, the committee shall encourage the candidate to prepare the doctoral dissertation.

2. The examining committee shall examine the dissertation and shall decide whether the dissertation is acceptable for review.

3. When the dissertation is acceptable for review, the examining committee shall request that the Graduate School schedule a final examination and issue a ballot for the candidate.

4. The final examination shall have at least two components:

a. An oral presentation, during which the scholarship of the dissertation is presented and defended. This presentation must be open to the public and will be advertised to the students, faculty and staff of the University.

b. A question/answer session with the examining committee. The candidate will discuss the dissertation with the members of the examining committee. During this session, committee members may ask questions which lie beyond the specific focus of the dissertation, and which test in a comprehensive manner the breadth of learning documented in the program of study.

Following both examination components, the examining committee members will discuss the results of the examination. They will vote appropriately on the ballot provided by the Graduate School, and they shall provide any useful comments which they believe will strengthen the dissertation.

5. The Graduate School regulations permit a student to retake a failed final examination, should three-fourths of the examining committee agree. This examination must be held no sooner than three months from the date of the failure. The examining committee shall notify the Biology Graduate Selection and Review Committee concerning the failed examination, and concerning the steps which the supervisory committee will take to assist the student.

Home | Forms & Resources | Student Expectations